Whelp now we are back to the starting line for real. We sailed our 50+ year old boat from Buzzard’s Bay to St. Mary’s River, going in, out, around and through. Fixing things all the way, parts falling off (clamping them back on), chopping stuff off, glassing it over, and sanding – always sanding. Now we sailed her back up. She’s a new boat and we are new crew, somehow going backward and forward at the same time.Whew!
As we came up the coast, I learned of a big algae bloom that was ahead of us off the coast of NJ, and stayed on high alert for brilliant green waters. Either the bloom had cleared itself, or we transited it at night, for all I found in my tows were charismatic zooplankton:
My hopes of charging through an upwelling ribbon of plankton on my sail-chariot like a seaweed queen returning from an overseas battle were dashed. In other news, it gets weird out there without internet.
Just so you don’t get it twisted. Sometimes there is peace and solitude on the boat, but some other times its a national holiday on an inland water route full of drunk bros on power boats.
When I decided to move onto a very small boat, I was going after a certain thing. I did want to travel, I did want to divest myself of clutter, and I did feel the need to make a major change even if it meant sacrificing the relative comfort of life on land. But none of these were the main thing.
I wanted to need much less [money] to live. There was a lot going on there – mostly stemming from cost of living going through the roof where I had been living for so long– but I knew I could live much more simply, and I suspected that I should.
For many months after switching off the hustle, my brain still churned. I was focused on getting the boat ready, getting out of the winter, getting through an extended refit, saving, saving, saving. Still treading water, but at least there was a plan for increased independence taking shape.
Recently, finally, I have had the experience of passing days in a row not spending any money. Even typing that, from the back of my mind I hear the jerk reminding me to pro-rate our few monthly bills like mail service and phone plan, and never, NEVER, stop feeling those pennies falling from my pockets, but then I tell that guy to shut up because this is as close as it gets and we’ve worked hard to carve out this time and its ok to go ahead and experience the thing.
So what happens once I have renounced all that I can, and become essentially an island? One thing is I fall behind on this blog, but hey. Here are a few other things that happen:
– waking up without an alarm, sometimes very early
– experimenting with solar panel/battery/device voltage
– sewing and then re-sewing things
– listening to politics on the radio, then turning that crap off, then turning it back on
– composing letters and conversations for future reference
– reading books that smell pretty musty
– rowing the dinghy; walking long distances
– making soup for husband
– selecting something new from giant hoard of Sephora samples for “spa” time
– wielding mudras, mantras, asana and pranayama
– believing personal peace contributes to peace in the world
– looking up and seeing an osprey with a fish in its talons!
– hearing the *puff!* of a dolphin breathing
– making and drinking coffee
– sweeping up cat fur, crumbs, and what ever else flakes off our boat constantly
– having business ideas, book ideas, other schemes
– noting the phase of the moon, tide, or wind direction
– watching Battlestar Galactica
– “tinsmithing” – will remove quotes when I make something useful
– hanging things out to dry; discovering damp things
And in the midst of all this, there is what Liz Lemon would describe “a loose feeling in my shoulders”. Moments cycle between pure attention and pure gratitude.
I don’t know how long we get this time, but we have it for today. Just for now I am ok with not knowing what comes next, and that is the gift.